Australia - that's one big island

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by -Z-, Dec 27, 2019.

  1. Traveller13

    Traveller13 Cptn. Fluffy

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    Nah mate gold, it's the Super Pit in Kalgoorlie.
    #21
  2. Traveller13

    Traveller13 Cptn. Fluffy

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    Tropic of Capricorn - GS 2018.PNG

    Not much out there other than the sign and the flies :)
    #22
  3. Martin_D

    Martin_D n00b

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    Maybe a few termites ... :rofl

    IMG_2923.jpg IMG_3808.jpg
    #23
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  4. -Z-

    -Z- Been here awhile

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Aix en Provence, France
    After 2 days in Exmouth, it was time to carry on

    At the hostel I met a Canadian dude who was working in a Road House a few hundreds kms from here, it was on my way, so I decided to stop there to make a camp stop
    A road house is basically a petrol station / lil convenience store / campground .. On the road, almost everybody would stop there to refill the tank or get a fresh drink.
    Temperature was much warmer here, and, as there almost no vegetation in that part of the country, it's really hard to have a lunch or a snack on the side road, you have to stop on a proper rest area or road house, to get something very precious, SHADE :clap

    Anyway, today destination was Nanuterra Roadhouse


    On my way I stopped on a rest area to refresh and have a drink, I was about to put back my helmet but a lady ( about 60yo ) show up on a bicycle !?!
    I asked her where she was going and she said she was doing Perth to Darwin.. which is a 4500kms ride... Told me she's done it 3 times already..

    I'm a cyclist too, but for me that felt totally crazy to ride here, anyway I give her some food and wished her good luck for her journey.

    I overpass 2 others cyclists on the way, I was wondering where the hell they were going.. 2 hours later they show up at the same camp spot, they were 2 friends from Sydney and decide to pedal all the west coast... God they were carrying a lot of stuff ( gas bottle, 10L of water, tools )
    After meeting all theses cyclists I felt that I was travelling in full comfort!

    You might not feel like, but 500 kms after I left Perth, the region became quite "remote"
    Petrol station every 150-200kms, almost no trafic on the road, lots of wild animals, the heat, no shops to get water / food wherever you want..
    As a European it was very different from what I had experienced before, we have petrol station every 10kms where I live :D

    But I loved it! I was free.

    GOPR0433.JPG

    Once I reached Nanutarra roadhouse, I pitched the tent, catch up the canadian guy, we had a chat around a few beers...
    A good cappuccino at breakfast and back on the road :clap
    #24
  5. AirDrive

    AirDrive Terminal No0b

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    I'll be watching this one! I'm always happy to see that Youth is NOT ALWAYS wasted on the young ...:wings
    #25
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  6. Traveller13

    Traveller13 Cptn. Fluffy

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    #26
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  7. Traveller13

    Traveller13 Cptn. Fluffy

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    "But I loved it! I was free."

    This, this is why I ride, especially the big trips but really it's any time I throw a leg over the bike :)
    #27
  8. -Z-

    -Z- Been here awhile

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Aix en Provence, France
    Happy 2020 everybody, hope you'll have an amazing year, full of 2 wheels adventure and good times!!

    thumbs up for the firefighters in Australia, situation looks horrible in NSW - VIC at the moment... hope some rain is coming soon to sort that out

    I don't know what happen but I loose quite a lot of pictures of the trip, i'll try to upload as much I can tho


    Anyway, after a good breakfast, I watched a few "roadtrain" passing by. Thoses trucks are huge, and they go 110 an hour, which seems quite fast regarding their size... While overpassing, you have to make sure you have a clear space in front, especially on a 250cc :D

    Today destination was the famous Karijini NP, road was very nice, lots of hills and rock formation and it was getting super hot..

    I made a stop at Tom Price (aka Top Town, 700m above sea level) in the Pilbara region; To get some food and plenty of water as there is no shops inside the NP
    I fill the tank right to the top as it was a long distance to cover without petrol stop, at one point I ask myself if I should carry some extra 3L, just in case... But I went the aussie way instead; "She'll be right"

    Bike and rider were ready so I hit the road again and reach the entrance of the National Park,

    First surprise, the campground was full and they couldn't fit anymore ppl inside, obviously I didn't made a reservation ahead and I was stuck there...
    Luckily the lady saw that I was on a motorcycle and only camping with a tent, so she let met go in the "overflow" campgroung. Sorted for the night!

    The campgroung was full of rocks and uneven, I manage to find an ok spot and pitched the tent, Once the sun disappeared, the temperature dropped quickly.

    Went for long and cold night, and had a great surprise for breakfast!
    My camp neighbors offered me a coffee and toast, there's nothing better than a warm coffee after a cold night! Probably one of the greatest breakky I had during the whole trip!

    Spend the morning hiking in the National Park and then hit the road again.


    First pic is at the campspot at the Road House, the rest in the National Park
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    See how white was skin? It was clearly time to quickly head north to get more sunshine!!


    Karijini National Park is really nice, but unfortunately, as many place in Western Australia, you need a proper adv bike or 4wd to explore all the places, with my bike, I was only able to cover about 10% of the park.
    All the rest was corrugated road or sandy stuff
    Anyway, another good reason to come back another time!
    #28
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  9. -Z-

    -Z- Been here awhile

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Aix en Provence, France
    After a great breakfast a delightful walk thru the park, I jumped again on the bike and set off.

    Today destination was Port Hedland, I noticed that most of the town on the west coast aren't that exciting, not much happening and feel like that peoples lives here mostly for work purposes and that's it.
    There is a lot of minning work in the Pilbara region , some peoples lives near the mines, other peoples do FiFo ( Fly-in Fly-out ) so the company will pay you a return ticket every month or so, for the workers to get to a bigger city like Perth, Sydney or Broome and enjoy some time off.

    But i've heard from a lots of different peoples that the conditions in the mines are pretty good, swimming pool tennis court, good wages... Some workers are making up to 200.000$AUD a year...
    it's the dream of many to get a job in a mine :)

    Anyway, I drove off the National Park, road was stunning, no traffic, bike running well, a really good drive indeed.

    Unfortunately no pictures as I was too busy enjoying with my eyes... :D

    I reached Port Hedland around 5pm, saw one train passing by ( they can be as long as 2kms with more than 260 cars ) impressing..

    Near the golf course there's a campground, but didn't look like it was worth the money, so instead I went to the public campground near the stadium..
    Says it was only for self contained campervan but I found a little spot and I was tired, so I pitched the tent and slept..



    As there is nothing special to do, the next morning I woke up, pack my stuff and hit the road directly.
    Today destination was Broome, it would be my last stop for the trip.

    The road was, again, quite long, and straight.
    A few petrole station on the way to cut the loneliness and stop for a refreshment or some food
    As I left early in the morning to avoid the heat, I reach Broome mid-day.

    I got to a nice hostel and went for a good shower and a good feed!

    The plan was to stay here for a week and keep going north to Darwin... I ended up staying 2 and a half months, as I met a great bunch of friends and found a job quite easily!
    At that time I used to have 3 differents jobs, making lots of hours, lots of $$$, and obviously going out a lot :clap

    I manage not to spend it all in partying and had great savings.

    Broome was a really nice town, touristic, stunning beaches and great peoples, but it's very remote and after a while you get bored..

    So, after 2,5months, as I had saved enough money, it was time to set off again.

    I changed the rear tyre, flush oil / coolant and did a general check over the bike.



    here's a few random pics
    3rd pic is with 2 guys that I met at the hostel, they were riding Adelaide to London on Versys 300 ( they reached London since then )
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    #29
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  10. sages

    sages Been here awhile

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    Perth, West Australia
    Bag of ice? Delivered? :jack
    #30
  11. Gedrog

    Gedrog 1000 mile stare a 1000 stories to tell

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    Lost in the Sahara
    Just try to get some more dirt orientated 50-50 rubber and you should have a lot of fun
    #31
  12. Traveller13

    Traveller13 Cptn. Fluffy

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    Enjoying this RR mate. Keep it coming as it's making me even more eager to get going myself later in the year :)
    #32
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  13. -Z-

    -Z- Been here awhile

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    hahaha have to keep'em cold!

    It was just a random alcohol test

    Trip is already finish since 2 years, and it was quite hard to find some decent tyres as the wheel are 16"... can't even put some BT45.. I went for some Dunlop GT301 ( they were excellent )

    thanks mate !

    don't have much time to write as i'm busy with work atm but will do my best :thumb
    I hope I can ad some precious advices for some fellow travellers :ricky
    #33
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  14. Franque

    Franque Been here awhile

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Dallas, Tx -> Aubagne, France
    Hey Z, where are you located these days? I'm in Aubagne, it would be cool to meet up!
    #34
  15. -Z-

    -Z- Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2012
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Aix en Provence, France
    So, After some nice time in the lovely Broome, it was time to set-off.

    I used to work as a delivery driver for a laundry company & also as a kitchen hand in a resort, I was working 7 days a week, so not much time to wander around.
    But, for thoses passing by here's my recommandations;

    - cable beach is a must do, take a bike or a camel ride there, stunning sunsets over the beach...
    - Ganthaume point is great for a walk and if you want to jump from the cliff ( only at high tide tho! )
    - Cape l'eveque (off road only)
    - Horizontal Falls ( haven't done it as it was a bit pricey, but friends told me it was great.. )



    When I left Broome it was wet season, temp was above 30° at 8am and air very humid, pretty much like in south east asia...
    I knew it would be hard to ride all day long under the sun at 38°... So I left very early, I was on the road by 5am

    Today destination was Halls Creek, 700kms away.

    To make it more interesting, you could do the Gibb River Road, wich is a 800kms long dirt road, a bit dangerous in wet season due to the remoteness and the floods.

    Anyway, I drove all day long under the sun, but it wasn't that bad as I smash a lot of kms between 5 to 8am.
    The bike went well, doing 8.000rpm for 8hrs straight

    GOPR0429.JPG DSC_0837.JPG

    I've heard a lot of bad stories from others travellers about camping in Fitzroy Crossing and Halls Creek.
    A lot of Aboriginals there, and as there is no working going-on in theses regions, most of them are drunk all day long and at night they would go into the campsite and get in your tent or car to rob wallet, phone, cameras...
    I've got a lot of friends that get stuff robed while camping in theses regions, they even get INSIDE your tent while sleeping to stole your phone..

    So I get to this campsite in Halls Creek, it's run by a german couple, it's actually quite nice, swimming pool bbq area convenience store garage with tools..

    As I was carrying my laptop, external storage, dslr camera and a gopro, I asked the owner is it was safe enough and she replied " well, not really" I was stocked..! Even the owner told me that it wasn't a safe place, jeez!

    So I left all my valuable in the topbox, and the bike slept in their garage.

    I slept in my tent, and, what a nightmare...
    Drunk people screaming all night long, Police came up 10 times, I heard kids jumping the fence and getting inside the campsite... Oh well, I haven't been robed, bike was still there, and sun was still shinning...

    Load her up, and on the road again!
    #35
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  16. -Z-

    -Z- Been here awhile

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Aix en Provence, France
    I live and work near Aix en Provence
    Yea sure, i'll inbox you my whatsapp number!
    #36
  17. -Z-

    -Z- Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2012
    Oddometer:
    109
    Location:
    Aix en Provence, France
    Yo!

    sorry for the delay, I work early every day and not too much time-off to write.


    Anyway,
    after that horrible night I jumped back on the bike and left early to get some cooler riding conditions.

    Road was empty and got very hot from 10am...
    I randomly bumped into a friend who was driving in the other direction, god, what a small world!!!

    today destination was Kununurra and Argyle lake for a 2 days stop, the road was quite long due to the heat and the fact that there was no stop and no sightseeing other than the roadside...

    Anyway it was remote and beautiful.. landscape were absolutely unique, the heat was extreme, temp must have been +45° (115° fahrenheit) Impossible to ride with the visor opened as the headwind was just burning...

    I wanted many times to stop for pictures but really, every stop in the sun was hard :D

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    I also remember paying 8$ for 2 bottles of water, It was 2 years ago but I still remember the price as it seems crazy expensive... But I was so thirsty that I was okay to pay top price for a refreshing glass

    I reached Lake Argyle campsite mid-afternoon.
    One of the nicest i've ever been, friendly staff, comfy grass spot, stunning swimming pool overlooking the lake.. It's definitely a compulsory stop for anyone passing by:clap


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    Stunning place!

    I did a check over the bike during my day-off, everything perfect, so I went for a walk around, and a well-deserved swim!
    #37
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  18. -Z-

    -Z- Been here awhile

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    After a good and relaxing time off in lake Argyle, it was time to set-off (again!)

    I was thinking to get straight to Darwin, but, figured out that it would be a very long stretch to do in once, firstly due to the heat, and also remember that I was on holidays, which means, NO RUSH.

    I packed everything-up, muck around to get some petrol, and found-out that the Lake petrol station won't open anytime soon so I kept going and decide to get some fuel later on.

    The Kawasaki GPX don't have any fuel gauge, only a reserve position on the tank. So, I would reset the daily odometer everytime, and visually check the tank to make sure that I was fine.
    Anyway, I wasn't doing any off-road, and the range was up to 380-400kms with a full tank. Easy!


    Soo, I decided to make a stop a lil before Darwin, there's a place called Katherine.
    Went to a "BIG4" caravan park, which had a swimming pool, nice place!

    Bump into a very nice petrol station on the way hahaha

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    Funny stuff ; I drove thru a new state, Nothern territory. Even if it's still within australia, there like a custom toll, you're not supposed to carry any fruits with you, as it may do some trans-contamination, speed limits are 110 also..
    I found it weird to have differents rules between states..!
    I guess it's the same in the USA
    #38
  19. Franque

    Franque Been here awhile

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    Dallas, Tx -> Aubagne, France
    Yeah, pretty much, except there *usually* isn't a customs (though California had one iirc), and there *mostly* aren't any tolls to enter a state.
    #39
  20. -Z-

    -Z- Been here awhile

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    oh ok, good to know, pretty much same as Canada then!

    But it's only going from Western Australia to Northern Australia.
    Going interstate to Queensland, New South Wales or Victoria, there's no such controls...Only a signpost "welcome to Queensland"
    funny stuff!
    #40